Wednesday, September 30, 2009
And you know, if you had a hundred million pennies, you wouldn’t have enough for a pair for the eyes of each person who has died from famine under or directly at the hands of the People’s Republic of China.
Thanks to the MegaPenny Project at Kokogiak Media. You should visit.
[O]ne of the worst case conditions we modeled (Mr. C was/is in the nuclear power plant industry) was for a utility pole being driven against the concrete containment by hurricane force winds. A cylindrical object striking "end on" generates great "punching shear". The worst part of an aircraft for causing impact damage are the engines, but even these are not massive compared to their diameters. Aircraft components are designed to be strong and light. This means that their mass is low per unit volume. And, since collision damage is caused by inelastic energy transfer (kinetic energy is equal to mass times velocity squared), aircraft tend to go "splat", rather than penetrating a massive target.This is largely what we witnessed in the video with the F-4 Phantom as it disintegrated during collision. Mr. E continues:
A nice feature of reinforced concrete domes, many of which are now prestressed, is they transfer energy elastically over a large surface. You might get some surface spalling, but a structural collapse is unlikely.
Thanks for the additional excellent info and keep on reading, Mr. E!
Ranjit Goswami, of the Blogger News Network, writes an editorial titled Saluting China. In it, he pays courteous respect to Communist China.
The people of China, its policy-makers and the Communist Party that’s behind sort of everything in China deserve this salute. They have earned it against all odds. The peaceful rise of China is in everybody’s radar now although many took time to (deliberately) ignore it for a long time. China deserves the salute from the world for the unbelievable achievements they accomplished during the last half of these sixty years. And that benefited a vast majority of China’s nearly 1.3 billion people, and probably a significant number of the nearly 5.4 billion global non-Chinese as well. Until now.
That does in no way mean things happened in a ‘Hunky dory’ manner over the sixty years or over the last half of it. There were casualties – starting from environment to human rights to human beings. It is hard to imagine any country that today boasts of highest Internet users and usages with strict control on the ‘freedom of opinion’ – the gene of Internet. Surely the two could not have co-existed had it not been the People’s Republic of China.
And just like that, Goswami sweeps away more than 2 million murders, 1.5 million permanent injuries, a total of 36 million people imprisoned, brutalized, tortured, or raped, the pillaging of entire communities, destruction of untold architectural and artistic treasures, and abominations against religious institutions (Tibetan, Korean, Uighur, and Christian).
People were starved to the point of cannibalism, forcibly relocated and effectively enslaved to do agricultural work in numbers that exceeded the total number of slaves ever held in the United States across centuries combined. Dissent and disobedience have been aggressively suppressednot just anti-government demonstrations, but even people who practice quasi-religious beliefs that fail to acknowledge the supreme power of the Communist Party. Today, children are treated as cattle, with limitations on gender and breeding. Women are officially considered equals, but in reality are little more than servants who need to keep their mouths shut. Its lands and its waters are toxic, and result in millions being sickened or deformed.
This isnt ancient history. Lots of Chinese would be able to explain in great detail the horrors they have personally seen, if only they were allowed.
Goswami has no doubt never been to China to ask them. His knowledge of it comes from National Geographic photo essays of swinging Shanghai nightclubs, tall high rises, and smiling parades in Beijing plazas. All Hollywood, with neon and Ferraris. Perhaps he has been to Hong Kong, where the standard of living is at Western standards of comfort and convenience. But he ignores the entire, bloody past of China and its sick effects in Mongolia, North Korea, and Vietnam, all of whom might take a slightly less supportive view of Maoism. Ask the Uighurs, Tibetans, and Yunnan how fond their recollections are. They would very much like to live in Goswamis fictional China.
Today, China celebrates her 60th anniversary, and she retains blood on her hands from the first day right up until today. 60 years of terror and violence, paranoia and poverty. Layers of fresh blood cake over ancient blood.
Goswami sings how the Chinese have done so much good for their peopletaking the predictable tone of See how far they have come in 60 years! Yes, the average Chinese person is better today than he was 60 years ago. But every open, Western democracy has brought her people further in much, much less time. Even stellar Hong Kong, the crown jewel of Communism, is the product of the West, not China. Goswami congratulates China for crossing the Social Improvement finish line, not realizing she is almost dead last. Even in China, that position is called Loser.
Health care workers are screaming that their "rights" are being infringed. Anytime you hear a largely unionized workforce complaining about their "rights" being infringed, be suspicious. The problem? Big, bad New York State is requiring all health care workers to receive both the seasonal flu vaccine as well as the swine flu('Puter disbelieves the H1N1 tag. Plus, it's more difficult to type) vaccine.
Here's 'Puter's position. Health care workers are full of it. New York is not forcing them to get flu shots; the state's setting a term of employment: flu vaccinations. Health care workers have a right to refuse the vaccinations. However, their employers have a right to fire them for their refusal to do so.
'Puter has no sympathy for people who work with the sick in any capacity ('Puter's looking at you, whiny nutritionist cited in the article) who knowingly put their charges at risk. Your "right" to refuse vaccines is tempered by 'Puter's right not to be subjected to avoidable disease exposure in receiving health care. So, go get your danged flu, polio, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, small pox, chicken pox and whatever other vaccinations the medical-industrial complex has come up with and shut your yaps. 'Puter has the right to be safe from your boneheaded Luddism.
This brouhaha is reminiscent of the Dixie Chicks whining that people weren't buying their albums after they bashed President Bush during a concert in London. You have rights. your exercise of them may come with a downside. It's part of the bargain.
So, health care workers, behave like adults. Make your choice, and live with the consequences. If feeding your whiny selves is so important, get the shots, stay quiet and keep working. If you're truly standing on principal, 'Puter's certain one of the millions of unemployed would happily get the required vaccinations and take your job.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
First, in something that probably won't make the "I'm a PC and I'm a Mac" ads, the Apple "sandbox" on the iPhone isn't as secure as one would hope. "Sandbox" in this context refers to a protected area where an iPhone application operates without having access (or at least limited access) to other data and system information. Well it turns out that it's pretty easy for apps on the iPhone to get the user's phone number. And their phone book. And other personal information on the iPhone file system. Sun's Java has long been a model of a decent "sandbox" environment, unfortunately, it looks like the Apple developers failed in this respect and are relying on their user community to identify and police these application intrusions. Apparently some iPhone app developers are using the data gathered (in particular the user's phone number) to actually call individual iPhone users. "Can you hear me now?" Of course, an app could behave even worse and mine the location data that is present on the iPhone and send that out. "This is Joe Biden, I just wanted to let you know that the Gormogonicon 2010 is going to be at ......" One might argue that apps should have access to this information, but like the Java sandbox, it would be nice if Apple provided a security model where explicit permissions to access various data elements had to be granted to the application by the user.
For a long time I've argued that Microsoft applications are a pain as they do things "for you" that you might not want them to do. MS Word is a classic example of such an application. Yes, you can turn a lot of this off. Other MS apps will pop up dialogs to the forefront while you're busy with another application. Well, Apple is joining the party - the Apple Update Service (installed with a variety of Apple applications on the Windows platforms) has been annoying me on a number of my machines. After trying repeatedly to install Safari (no thank you), and the Bonjour network service (again, non merci), it is trying to install the iPhone Configuration Utility. This is a utility for a corporate admin to provision and configure iPhones in a corporate environment - I am not an iPhone user, nor am I a corporate admin provisioning iPhones. Apple wised up after getting numerous complaints about this. Apple is, in effect, foisting new applications upon users by way of an "update" service. Is it a serious issue? No. Is it an undesirable behavior? Clearly. One would hope a company advertising a better user experience (and generally delivers one) would do better.
Stalwart supporter MC (presently in charge of our top three conspiracies in Andorra) writes in to say:
No doubt the mighty Czar of Muscovy has already read this piece by David Pryce-Jones, but I took note that he follows your lead on how to properly deal with trendy assclowns who have no respect for great traditions:
Puccini was famously angry with whoever took liberties with his scores; he made clear how he wanted this supreme opera to be staged, and small-minded men like Gelb and Bondy do not know better than the great composer. Tosca finishes with a firing squad and a summary execution. My Association is taking note.
Excellent! Too much stuff today ends in posts and editorials. In our day, we ended just about everything with a firing squad. Ever wonder what became of the cast of F Troop? Today theyd simply be put on Dancing With the Stars...and you already know how the Czar would handle that show, too.
Now it turns out that according to the AFP news service that "the Empire State Building will be light up red and yellow" tomorrow to mark the occasion.
I understand that the Chinese hold a great deal of our debt, but when did it become acceptable to celebrate a regime that has killed millions of people for their political beliefs, suppresses freedom of speech and expression, and commits the murder of children to control the population? Then again, this sounds like the outline of a white paper that could be written by Cass Sunstein. I remember a time when calling someone a communist was an insult. Now people from the ranks of the lowly community organizer to a Czar ensconced at the highest levels of the current administration wear the label of communist as a badge of honor.
The left worships the communist Chinese regime for its central planning and the control it exerts over the lives of the Chinese citizens. Many see it as a model to aspire to here in the United States and are in the process of expanding the government to achieve this goal of total control. These are scary times when we celebrate those that stand at the polar opposite of the principles of our founding and shun and reject those that want to preserve the constitution and the “American Way.”
First, there was the confession from the public editor that they screwed up the ACORN coverage because they acted like jackasses.
Now, comes word that the New York Times is revealing that the Obama EPA appears to have stalled a report that made climate change conclusions look bad when the President was going for Cap and Trade.
Where did we hear this before? Why, right here at the Big G! Back in late June, the Czar covered this story.
The New York Times screws up by decidedly taking the side of the pro-climate change folks: instead of asking where the outrage is that the Obama administration is acting exactly like the anti-science, pro-suppression Bush administration, the Times elects to go on an ad hominem, because the reports author, Alan Carlin, is an economist, not a real scientist, and that some real scientists disagree with him.
One: Carlin did not attempt to write a peer-reviewed refutation for Nature. He merely questioned the statistics of the original data, which an economist (or even a freshman psych major) is qualified to do.
Two: Despite this, he was indeed routed away as shown by internal emails. The Czar believes that Al McGartland (the EPA department director) responded professionally and appropriately. However, it is also clear that McGartland had no intention of discussing the report at a later date. That constitutes suppression.
Three: Not all scientists have disagreed with Carlin. Indeed, a body of scientists are gaining recognition for annihilating the research that Carlin was also questioning. That could be a great news story for the Times if they wanted to spent a few seconds looking into it.
Four: The New York Times fails to acknowledge the suppression of his report. Mr. Carlin is not a climatologisthe is an economist who has been with the EPA for decades, and his job is to identify economic risks to the country with EPA programs. So when a guy with decades of experience in preventing embarrassingly bad ventures says that the EPA is embarking on an embarrassingly bad venture, that becomes the story.
Five: Clark Hoyt, call your office. This is one of those items you believe your newspaper could do a better job covering.
Actually, that fails to go far enough for our taste; the US should drop out for a year or two (or forever), and let the coffee sippers find a way to pay their own damn bill instead of letting us take care of 25% of it.
Huckabee said, in a radio interview this morning, that there is no doubt the United States is getting nothing in return for its multi-billion-dollar-a-year payments.
The Czar looks at it like this: envision that you hired a building contractor, United Nations Construction, to help clean up your property for an astonishing amount of money. They show up late one day, set up a lot of equipment, and then start sitting around on break. Eventually, they start inviting all sorts of questionable characters to join them. And before you realized what was happening, they start having parties in your basement, letting themselves in, making fun of your kids, using your phone, stuffing up your plumbing, and sticking you with nearly all the bills.
After say 50 years of this, maybe it's time to fire their asses? The yard, as it turns out, is still a total mess.
Huckabee just wants them to go to someone else's place and mess their basement up. Okay, fine...as a first step.
A note to 83-year-old Kitty Werthmann: respectfully, many of those things were started by Otto von Bismarck, not the National Socialists.
One of Big Environment's leading members, Greenpeace, has released this video over in the U.K.
Wow! Scary. And who here hasn't heard of the threat of 9/11-like attacks on the U.S. nuclear power plants? Although, maybe some of the technologies we've talked about here would be better suited to defend against these situations, let's look at some factual data (usually the best defense against a FUD attack). Here is a video of a test where an F-4 Phantom was flown into a concrete wall similar to those housing nuclear power plants. Watch and learn. . Aside from the fact that I marvel at the construction technology used, I think this is pretty convincing. But that's just a small fighter jet, you say? Well the Nuclear Energy Institute conducted another study found here that determined that a 767 flying into a nuclear power plant would not cause a breach. We wonder why everyone is all spun up about the various topics of the day and it's largely due to false data and FUD.
Case in point: some scientists have taken a look at some of the data at the heart of the infamous anthropogenic global warming "hockey stick" temperature graph. To familiarize everyone, trees provide a decent record of their local climate. Scientists take cores from trees to examine the tree rings (growth patterns in the trunk) and use these to extrapolate climate data and temperature.
The scientists involved in generating the temperature data and graph decided to take a very small subsample of data (12 cores out of over 250 available tree cores) in 1990 and later. It turns out (read below) that subsequent tree core samples were likely not gathered at random and instead selectively used. The scientists/detectives on the case re-examined the results if the full set was used and guess what? No hockey stick rise in temperature. Surprise!
From Steve McIntyre over at Climate Audit:
1. In a 1995 Nature paper by Briffa, Schweingruber et al., they reported that 1032 was the coldest year of the millennium - right in the middle of the Medieval Warm Period. But the reconstruction depended on 3 short tree ring cores from the Polar Urals whose dating was very problematic. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=877.
2. In the 1990s, Schweingruber obtained new Polar Urals data with more securely-dated cores for the MWP. Neither Briffa nor Schweingruber published a new Polar Urals chronology using this data. An updated chronology with this data would have yielded a very different picture, namely a warm medieval era and no anomalous 20th century. Rather than using the updated Polar Urals series, Briffa calculated a new chronology from Yamal - one which had an enormous hockey stick shape. After its publication, in virtually every study, Hockey Team members dropped Polar Urals altogether and substituted Briffa's Yamal series in its place.http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=528. PS: The exception to this pattern was Esper et al (Science) 2002, which used the combined Polar Urals data. But Esper refused to provide his data. Steve got it in 2006 after extensive quasi-litigation with Science (over 30 email requests and demands).
3. Subsequently, countless studies appeared from the Team that not only used the Yamal data in place of the Polar Urals, but where Yamal had a critical impact on the relative ranking of the 20th century versus the medieval era.http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3099
4. Meanwhile Briffa repeatedly refused to release the Yamal measurement data used in his calculation despite multiple uses of this series at journals that claimed to require data archiving. E.g. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=542
5. Then one day Briffa et al. published a paper in 2008 using the Yamal series, again without archiving it. However they published in a Phil Tran Royal Soc journal which has strict data sharing rules. Steve got on the case. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3266
6. A short time ago, with the help of the journal editors, the data was pried loose and appeared at the CRU web site. http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142
7. It turns out that the late 20th century in the Yamal series has only 10 tree ring chronologies after 1990 (5 after 1995), making it too thin a sample to use (according to conventional rules). But the real problem wasn't that there were only 5-10 late 20th century cores- there must have been a lot more. They were only using a subset of 10 cores as of 1990, but there was no reason to use a small subset. (Had these been randomly selected, this would be a thin sample, but perhaps passable. But it appears that they weren't randomly selected.) http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142
8. Faced with a sample in the Taymir chronology that likely had 3-4 times as many series as the Yamal chronology, Briffa added in data from other researchers' samples taken at the Avam site, some 400 km away. He also used data from the Schweingruber sampling program circa 1990, also taken about 400 km from Taymir. Regardless of the merits or otherwise of pooling samples from such disparate locations, this establishes a precedent where Briffa added a Schweingruber site to provide additional samples. This, incidentally, ramped up the hockey-stickness of the (now Avam-) Taymir chronology.http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7158
9. Steve thus looked for data from other samples at or near the Yamal site that could have been used to increase the sample size in the Briffa Yamal chronology. He quickly discovered a large set of 34 Schweingruber samples from living trees. Using these instead of the 12 trees in the Briffa (CRU) group that extend to the present...(reference to graph)...showing a complete divergence in the 20th century. Thus the Schweingruber data completely contradicts the CRU series. Bear in mind the close collaboration of Schweingruber and Briffa all this time, and their habit of using one another's data as needed.
So when will it all unravel that one of the core supporting datasets for the AGW crowd is actually based on seriously and intentionally flawed data? Will Al Gore or Michael Moore make an award winning documentary on it? Will the Copenhagen climate summit debate this? Not likely. Big Environment is here and has the ear of many elected officials. One can only hope that a turnover of power like the one in Germany, the one likely in the U.K. and hopefully on in the U.S. next year will quell this biased and misguided movement.
Brits, frustrated with the sagging economy, oppressive unemployment, emptying tax coffers, a series of get-rich-quick scandals and embarrassing losses of face internationally, Gordon Brown is facing a landslide defeat for his partys insulting nanny state ways.
What do you do to win the hearts of the British voter? You announce tougher anti-social laws, of course!
The country is in a bad state: crime is increasing dramatically, critical infrastructure systems are broken, and the US treats you like an odd-smelling distant cousin. Brown intends to fix that by cracking down on bad parenting and teenage binge drinking.
On the parenting issue, it will now be the governments responsibility to enforce good parenting, not limited to a parenting contract, with mandatory interventions for the top 50,000 most chaotic families (no doubt identified by a complex matrix of chaos quality factors). In accounting that should sound painfully familiar to angry American voters, this will cost £50 million in real currency, but save £3 billion in fairy currency over time by magically lowering the need to pay out welfare and crime damage costs. Yes... the fact that the soaring unemployment will cost £50 billion in unemployment dole payments is more acceptable. Excellent use of government focus and resources, Mr. Brown.
And the sheer magnitude of teenagers drinking alcohol will not escape his liberal fury, either. Get busted committing a crime while hammered, and you could suffer a national drink banning. Good luck getting into pub now, eh Jackie? That logic of course sounds familiar to American gun owners: one might suppose that the folks tearing up your citizenry with violent crimes probably arent hatching their plots sitting over pints of Newcastles at the Rowdy Lion. They probably arent even old enough to get alcohol.
Oddly, PM Brown is failing to address other critical opportunities to take control over British society. Mandatory government health and fitness exercise programs. Mandatory government dog walking services. Mandatory government urination programs. The more you think about daily activities, the more opportunity there is to increase the size of the nanny state. The country is collapsing into poverty? Why not mandate toothbrushing incentives for £20 million of taxpayer money?
Madness. Absolute madness. Well, the Czar congratulates the Conservatives on another deserved win.
Monday, September 28, 2009
And in true conservative fashion, he is using nothing but bad arguments, including linking Darwin to pro-eugenics movements, Nazism, and other bad things. Blah, blah, blah.
Folks, the Czar will explain two things here: first, that Cameron represents a very small percentage of conservativesmostly centered in the Southwho reject the reality of Evolution, and frankly, a whole bunch of other things. It is possible to be conservative and evangelicalit is also possible to be conservative and not evangelical, which seems create a Does Not Compute klaxon in liberal brains.
Second, and a more interesting point, is that while liberals love to laugh at the foolishness of some conservatives, they have a pretty good share of thrashing skeletons in their own closet.
Take HuffPos own darling Frank Lipman, who believes swine flu vaccinations are dangerous compared to his own homeopathic advice. If you cannot bring yourself to go to the HuffPo link, you can safely click here to see that Dana Ullman makes equally bad recommendations based on magic and hidden powers.
Let us see which side is more idiotic. Creationists who deny evolutionand therefore deny the necesity of supplemental vaccination (although they do not realize this is their argument), or New Age furballs who advise against vaccination because it goes against natural healing practices? Both have the same resultsick people not getting vaccinated.
And we need not even go into the pablum-excreting feel-good madness that is Deepak Chopra.
Bottom line: Evolution is. It can be demonstrated at all levels, and every objection to it can be taken apart in minutes by self-study. Even the moral objections to it can be disarmed by someone reading Darwin and discovering that he was not a eugenicist nor a member of the Nazi party. What Darwin represents is a threat to the evangelical house of cards that makes up their reality. Another matter for another time.
But to portray this mentality as inherent to conservatism is not only incorrect, it is also self-damning, since liberals suffer a much broader range of lunatic ideas, from crystals to chakra powers to astral projection to PETA. Conservatives, per usual, admit and accept criticisms leveled to us about some of our members. Liberals, however, tend to deny their own mishaps so prominently on display.
So if you are considering jumping onto the Kirk Cameron Is An Ass bandwagon, dont bother until you have cleaned up your own magic shop of madness.
He said in an NBC interview that the virulent right-wing conspiracists that pursued him are now after President Obama. You can roll your eyes, but sit back a moment and think this through.
Was there a virulent group of right-wing folks who openly waitied to see Bill Clinton go down in flames? Yes, and it was quite large. Conspiracy? Well, maybe, if you define conspiracy as like-minded people working in concert with each other. If you define it as a secret, evil, GOP-run plot, then no. But Clinton is right to believe that people were very much targeting him for failure.
Are those same people after President Obama? Yeah, very likely. Certainly the Birthers are a conspiracy by his most charitable definition, and possibly meet the criteria for a sloppier definition as well.
But Clinton is as deluded and foolish as most of the other Democrats if he believes the right-wing conspiracy is dropping Obamas popularity numbers. This conspiracy group probably accounts for less than 1% of Americans.
No, President Clinton: millions and millions of Americans are dropping their support for President Obama because of what Obama has done (or not done).
Let us put it another way: The Democrats have to take the blame for their own screw-ups. Blaming right-wing conspiracy groups, media complexes, Republican agitators, healthcare companies, racists, and AM talk radio hosts for every dropping poll point explains why those poll points are dropping.
The Democrats need only look in the mirror to see why they are facing an electoral enema.
About that, Clinton doubts that 2010 will be a repeat of 1994. Why? Because the country is more interested in positive, diverse action! (Which is indeed why the Congressional approval ratings are way lower than they were in 1994) And because Americans have seen how bad it got when Republicans owned the government for the last eight years! (Again, compare approval ratings and get back to us.) And third, Democrats havent taken on the gun lobby like I did, and they took 15 out of our members out.
Wow. What a weird thing to say. Either President Clinton is saying he screwed up, or he is saying that Obama is screwing up on gun control. Either way, someone screwed up. And knowing Bill Clinton, its Obamaand that screw up, he believes, will keep Obama in power. The Czar cannot figure this out at all.
So here is what President Clinton said: no matter what bad things happen, it has to be someone elses fault. Not someone in particular: just someone else. Some secret group. And even though the poll numbers keep dropping to record lows, Democrats should be able to keep their majority in 2010 because Bill Clinton was such a swell guy in 1994 and Obama is not.
Whew. No wonder President Obama keeps him at arms length.
This election might be a forecast for the 2010 and 2012 elections in the U.S. It is possible that some of the Germans are aware of what a liberal party can do to a government now that the democrats control the White House and Congress here in the United States. Then again, maybe this slightly-right win in Germany will ripple over to the U.S. next year. I think it's likely as the world is witnessing the failure of the left with all the promise that Obama held going in and the lack of results coming out now. Luckily, Germany heeded words like this and elected wisely.
China, the new darling of the liberal world stage, is being lauded for its aggressive pro-environmental plans including a New York Times editorial that gushes with hope that America could become like the Communist Chinese. Not mentioned much in the editorial or anywhere this country? China is depending heavily on nuclear energy to fix its woeful environmental record and meet those dreamy goals of greenitude.
India is also embarking on a push for nuclear energy that our press here ignores. Indeed, the media here like to push the notion that India is a horrible polluter (which it is), but avoid revealing what India is doing to fix their problem...which is to go nuke.
Know who else loves nuclear power? Steven Chu, our oddball DoE Secretary. To be fair to Dr. Chu, he does know a lot about nuclear energy (especially compared to his comical ignorance of meteorology and climatology). Dr. Chu claims that several funding efforts to kick start nuclear power plants are underway, but no one seems to be discussing the nature of these efforts or what they will exactly entail. At least not, he adds, until we figure out how to prevent the creation of plutonium that can be easily weaponized.
Oh dear. It all fell apart there. See, plutonium is not easy to manufacture, and as long as you have security protocols in place, it cannot be weaponized. However, if you really have no intentions to take nuclear safety seriously, then yes—plutonium is easily weaponized by simply scattering it around a major downtown area (loading it into a weapon is too costly versus treating it as a horrifyingly toxic poison).
Dr. Chu isn’t ignorant about plutonium: he is hoping you are. Basically, he says "Yes, nuclear energy will support all our electrical needs and environmental goals inexpensively; however, we really won’t go that way until we spend years, if not decades, to find a solution to a problem that could be prevented by using current protocols.” We make plutonium now, and have since the 1950s at least...current nuclear safety protocols here have ensured, without doubt, that plutonium has never been used illegally. So really, despite his initially promising news, his follow up comments reveal the Obama administration is not going to adopt nuclear energy any time soon.
So why the hell not? Germany, whom we evidently admire, and China, whom we should not, as well as India see the immediate need for nuclear power. Think it through: it is inexpensive to build a plant, given the energy output versus capital expense of start up: a plant can pay itself off within a few years. Electricity rates drop dramatically for homes and businesses. The plants work reliably and safely. We have adequate containment, although the planned Yucca Mountain facility out west that would have provided for decades of safe storage, as well as consolidate numerous scattered storage facilities nationwide that need permanent homes, was quietly killed by the Democrats. And, best of all, there are no pollutants to poison the atmosphere and drinking water with American nuclear technology.
What could be the damned opposition to nuclear power? Well, follow the money. Coal burning plants will need to purchase carbon credits worth billions of dollars. Many leading Democratic party leaders are heavily invested in carbon credit trading firms, resulting in personal profit. Green technologies will be able to sell carbon credits at enormous profit to investors. Many leading Democratic party leaders are heavily invested in green technology firms, resulting in personal profit.
Nuclear energy plants are carbon neutral. Credits, technically, need not be bought or sold, so no money changes hands, right? Curiously, because nuclear fuel must be refined, processed, transported, and shipped, nuclear plants due indeed produce a carbon footprint, reason environmentalists. However, because they generate electricity but not carbon, they offset themselves financially.
Environmentalists grasp the first point, but not the second: Democratic party leaders do not make a personal profit off nuclear plants, so they are a no go. Environmentalists have a noble goal, but they too often fail to see that they are being hustled by the folks they most support: the Democrats. If the Democrats were serious about environmental reform, they would embrace nuclear power at once. However, once again, Democrats are not at all serious about saving the environment, and have never been. They just claim to be by promoting their own retirement investments to gullible Americans.
Full disclosure: yes, conservatives (especially Republican politicians) would personally profit from their investments in nuclear power. But so could Democrats, right? They could also invest in nuclear power. But what would the average Americans responses be if Al Gore et al. were discovered buying stock in nuclear technologies? The Czar will crack his knuckles patiently while you come up with a creatively entertaining list of your own.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Excellent continuing series. I sent the link to the Cordesman article to my friends, along with this commentary. Hope it fits in with what you are seeing. I fear that it will. Pretty good article by an inside the Beltway kind of guy.
I dont think the Israelis can realistically hope to destroy Irans nuclear weapons program with selective conventional weapon airstrikes. Yes, they can get there: reportedly they already have the Saudis permission to overfly Saudi Arabia on their way to Iran and Egypts permission to run subs through the Suez canal, likewise. They could probably land their planes in India or Turkey after hitting Iranian targets in the South and North, respectively. (They might not get their planes back, but they would probably get their pilots back.) But, if they do anything less than destroy the ability of the Iranians to build nukes, they have merely delayed the inevitable. And, such a strike does nothing to remove the possibility the Iran will simply buy nukes from someone else.
The fact that Israel has nukes (reportedly about 200 of them) is not a big deal because Israel just doesnt haven enough people to threaten its neighbors with conquest. They couldnt even hold the territory they took in Lebanon. Pakistan has not been a nuclear threat, in the sense that their enemy is India, but they have no realistic ability to engage in a war of conquest in Kashmir or other border areas. Pakistan cant even rule its own territory. India has the capability, but not the political will to be expansionist. (Long term, this could change, but not with their present badly fragmented political system.)
A nuclear Iran is a problem not because they would be nuclear, but because they are an Islamic Republic with a leadership that thinks it is their duty to bring on the return of the 13th Mahdi, a belief which does not appear in the Koran. Are they really nuts or are they just pretending to be nuts to keep their perceived enemies off guard? (Nixon defined MAD as convincing your adversary that you really were crazy to blow his brains out if he didnt let you have the last piece of toast. Nixon was a deeply flawed president and person, but a hell of a poker player.) The problem with pretending to be nuts is the same problem Saddam Hussein encountered in re: his WMD program. He convinced everyone, including his generals that he had them. Lot of disappointment at the front when they didnt show up. If the Iranians convince everyone that they want nukes not for defense but to trigger Armageddon, they may get what they say they want.
Which is my point: Israel cannot surgically destroy the Iranian Nuke program. (And, the US probably cant either.) But neither can destroy the Iranian economy and major population centers, which is exactly what the US and the Soviets threatened one another with during the Cold War. This is the dangerously seductive thing about nukes: you literally can bomb someone back to the Stone Age. They are cheaper than conventional weapons in this regard. And, like in all things, the perpetrator has the advantage. (First strike.) This is the Devils equation. The US and the Soviets managed to get down off their high horses and the Peoples Republic pulled in their horns. Nuclear weapons are a greater threat to smaller nations than to large ones. China, Russia, US all have the land area to survive a nuclear strike and struggle back after retaliating. Israel does not have that luxury: they would have to launch on word of a threat, because if they didnt they probably wouldnt have the chance later. (Use it or lose it.) Sampson in the temple. And if they didnt think they were going to survive as a nation, they would have no reason to hold anything back, since there wouldnt be a second strike. This is the strategy of the Dead Mans switch: if the man on the switch dies, his hand relaxes and the magazine goes Boom! "Youll never take me alive, copper!"
I said several years ago that I thought that Amadhi-Nezad was going to get a lot of Iranians killed, which I think would be a vast tragedy. (Odd that I agree with Medvedev in this.) I think thats still is a strong possibility. A regime change in Iran could prevent this, but will it happen and will it be soon enough? Do the Iranian people see the handwriting on the wall? And, realistically, what can they do? Hell of a mess.
Best wishes. I enjoy your website greatly.
Thanks! And great insights! The Czar is quite impressed!
By Mr. X at Big Hollywood.
Roman Polanski, wanted on an outstanding 1978 statutory rape charge, has consistently dodged American authorities by limiting his travel to countries that deny extradition to the US. He always insisted he was innocentthe 13 year old girl in question with he clever wiles is the one to blame, not him, you seebut enjoyed mocking our legal system by keeping one toe attached to glue while stretching out his tag hand.
Who knew Switzerland extradites to the US? Polanski didnt. Arriving in Zurich to accept a restrospective lifetime award, the dumbass got nailed at the airport on arrival.
Ha! No one is sure what sort of trial he will receive after all this time (locating the victim may be easy or tough...who knows!), but he can enjoy some jail time experiencing life as a 13-year-old girl at one of his own photo shoots. Then we shall see what, um, position he takes on the issue.
Clark Hoyt, who claims independence but really seems to be the guy to summarize reader complaints and synthesize them into an op ed articlea pretty clever idea, actually writes that the New York Times failure to cover the ACORN scandals wasnt done out of media bias... the failure was one of incompetence.
Hoyt goes into detail to show how, at each step, an editor somewhere failed to recognize the seriousness of the ACORN sting, discounted the methodology (news obtained unethically by NYT standards is still news, Hoyt argues), or plain screwed up the coverage.
Better still, the NYT claims that it shall henceforth assign an editor to follow hot items on conservative websites, talk shows, and video...and further concedes that the Times hasnt even identified for Hoyt who that person is yet.
Hoyt insists the Times detests the hint of bias. Are they biased? In the Czars opinion unquestionably. But if people like Hoyt want to address failures of competence, and if they want to have someone scan wesbites like this one, it is a smart move.
Heck, even Puter spends hours on HuffPo. Not to find news stories worth commenting on... he just laughs and laughs at Huffington making fun of the weird way Sarah Palin talks. Irony is a turn on for him.
Interestingly, Israel indicates no plan for any military involvement until after Yom Kippur, due to cabinet holiday schedules. And that delays things until later this week.
Oh yeahright on time with Hillary Clintons comments that Iran needs to be ready to talk on October 1st.
More practically, folks on both sides of the issue see that a strike is inevitable, and occuring before the end of the year...after seeing if sanctions really are working. Those involved on the US side agree with the time table of early next year.
Iraqi president Jelal Talebaní is against the idea of an Israeli attack (obviously, as Iranian refugees would overwhelm his struggling country), but concedes that Iran will not give a crap about sanctions.
An excellent item in the WSJ discusses the difficulties facing Israel when...not if...they attack.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
This is just typical NYT-picking. Okay, the editors admit that 10 million elderly Americans would probably get screwed, but a lot of people would benefit, too—at least, according to whichever proposal it is that the President is endorsing. He still has yet to indicate which it is, and the public does not know either as the Democrats have no intention of posting the proposed legislation on line.
But the editors insist in theory (because they lack specifics just as we do) the new proposal will clearly improve Medicare. But the editors seem to forget that the President requires the reforms to pay for themselves, which no proposal has been able to guarantee or at the very least convince. Just as the editors accuse the Republicans of not admitting the realities behind their objections, the editors fail to acknowledge the failures of the current plans.
But the Republicans have done far too good a job at obscuring and twisting the facts and spreading unwarranted fear. It is time to call them to account. President Obama and the Democrats in Congress have to make the case forcefully that health care reform will overwhelmingly benefit Americans—including the millions of older Americans who participate in Medicare.
Incorrect, Times. It is time to call the President and the Democrats to account for this reform nonsense: why the urgency to pass a bill that seems unable to reach its own goals and is destined to invert financially? Why the inability to post the bill online for total public transparency? The burden of proof, you lazy bastards, is not on the GOP to prove anything. The burden of proof rests on the Democrats to explain the benefits and disprove the accusations. They have consistently done neither.
And you also forget—the President had his shot to convince the American public, and he failed to do it. Check the polls: although some undecided moderates switched to supporting the bill, the vast majority of Americans remain opposed to the bill and these numbers are increasing steadily. But wait—your poll concludes that two-thirds of the country want the President’s plan in place. Odd, that, because more thoroughly conducted polls show the opposite. Perhaps future Time polls should include non-subscribers as well.
1. Do you really believe war with Iran is inevitable? By no means. The Czar would not be amazed if nothing happened. There is every indicator that the October 1 talks are indeed the primary goal, and that everyone hopes they will work. However, it is clear that a backup plan is very much in place.
However, the nature of an Iran war is something to think about. The discussions seem to revolve around two option: either we stop Iran, or we live with the prospect of a nuclear Iran. The latter is a false option: the question that Iran has forced is do we take out Iran today or tomorrow? This summers events show that Iran is not capable of transforming herself from within yet, and as a test revealed that she is years away from a smooth democratic transformation; conversely, the Iranians will have nukes long before that time. And Iran, historically, has used every weapon she obtained (Ahmadî-Nezhâds recent profession of abhorrence is not credible). Unless you are willing to live Iran shooting nuclear weapons all over the place, you need to take action. There will be no such thing as a peaceful, nuclear Iran. Math, math, math.
Whether or not this war requires the US to put boots on the ground is another issue. Unfortunately, the job will likely fall to us, and we will have another insurgency to deal witheven though, again, a democratic, peaceful Iran benefits Europe far more than the US, we will likely have to clean up the mess for the rest of the planet. This may have been in the works for some time: take a look at Iraq, and take a look at Afghanistan, and then check out which country is smack in the middle between them. If war comes to Iran, she will be boxed insomething that was not done to Iraq in 1991 or Afghanistan in 1998 to our current peril.
War in Iran is not certain by any means, and we hope completely avoidable. But the overwhelming series of bizarre events makes sense only in light that a massive failsafe operation is being assembled.
2. Do you really believe the Obama administration is this brilliant? No one said anything about President Obama, who has a pretty clear track record of running and falling down on foreign policy. Folks, its Israel calling the shots here (and she has the most at stake!). Russia is involved in a distant second. The only role the US has is to leak intelligence to the media, host the parties, and pressure Saudi Arabia. Those are not leadership roles, but third fiddle roles. It is a bit above Useful Idiot. The Czar is merely pleased that instead of standing around nervously kicking at the dirt, like the Carter administration did with Iran, we seem to be involved in something that could be world changing. The Czar accused one critic of the fallacy of foreign policy egocentrism for automatically assuming that the US is doing all of this because, if true, the set up is so brilliant. Brilliance is not the current administrations defining adjective, especially when so many other leaders qualify. Netanyahu is a skilled leader and expert statesman, and perfectly capable of masterminding such a complex series of moves.
Yikes: the world we live in when the best solutions are being orchestrated by Israel and Medvedev of Russia. That tells you a lot, when Netanyahu looks at Obama and looks at Medvedev and thinks Okay, lets go with the Russkies.
Perhaps it is for the best. America has a poor track record in handling anything stamped Caution: Iran, and Israel is facing a peril more serious than anything thrown at her in the 1960s.
Update: Other folks are thinking similarly, that Iran is being backed into a corner.
|Hugo Chavez says that President Obama smells of hope. Chavez disapproved of George Bush.|
|Mu‘ammar al-Qaḏāfī stated that President Obama is a glimpse in the darkness after four or eight years....We are content and happy if Obama can stay forever as president of the United States. Qaḏāfī disapproved of George Bush.|
|Fidel Castro lauded President Obama for admitting that the US causes most of the damage around the world, and to take responsibility for it was a brave gesture. Castro disapproved of George Bush.|
|Dmitri Medvedev believes that President Obama really communicates as a leader should, with listening instead of preaching. Medvedev adds he disapproved of George Bush.|
|President Obama disapproved of George Bush.|
Ye shall be judged by the company you keep, and so on.
Perhaps this would not be so serious a matter if the British economy were not a so-called service economy. It has been such ever since Margaret Thatcher solved our chronic industrial relations problem by the simple expedient of getting rid of industry. This certainly worked, and perhaps was inevitable in the circumstances, but it was necessary to find some other way of making our way in the world. This we have not done.Read on.
Readers here know the Czar has been sharing a little more each day about the chessboard setup that is Iran. Chess was invented in Persia—one wonders if they still remember the game there. Here is the twelve-step program up until today:
- 1. Saudi Arabia announces that Israel has flyover rights to take out Iran—if Israel wanted to, for whatever reason—anytime they want. Check!
2. Egypt announces that Israel’s navy has access to the Suez Canal...you know, in case they wanted to get some cruise missile submarine platforms to the Persian Gulf. For whatever reason. Check!
4. VP Joe Biden blurts out that Israel has a right to defend herself against Iran, even if that means a pre-emptive strike. He repeats the same notion a couple more times in the same interview. No one from the White House corrects him.
5. Russia reveals that Iran is attempting to purchase missiles capable of shooting down Israeli aircraft and missiles.
6. Israeli PM Netanyahu travels secretly to Russia to meet with Russian president Dmitri Medvedev. There is no word on what was discussed.
7. President Obama, within days, announces he is not deploying a missile shield in Eastern Europe.
8. Russia elects not to give any missile technology to Iran, and by the way, asks Iran shut up about the Holocaust, because things are not going quite so well for Iran right now. Check!
9. Iran attempts to hold an anti-Israeli protest, but is embarrassed when anti-Iranian protestors show up in massive numbers, and hold a near pro-Israeli demonstration. Check!
10. SecState Hillary Clinton warns Iran to comply fully with the October 1st talks to avoid any further unpleasantries.
11. Medvedev confirms he met with Netanyahu to talk about Iran specifically and come to some understandings still unrevealed. Medvedev also throws out an oddly mixed message that warns Iran of the horrors of an Israeli strike, while assuring the world that the Israelis are not definitely planning to do so before October 1st.
12. Israel states that all options, diplomatic and military, are still in play. Just in case anyone misunderstood what Medvedev was really trying to say.
And this while Russian, European, and American strategic experts are in New York for the UN freak show, nearly everyone necessary conveniently staying in the Waldorf-Astoria. And who else was there? Dmitri Medvedev, who has been a key player in setting up the game. Also, in Pittsburgh, the increasingly belligerent Nicolas Sarkozy and mild-mannered reporter PM Gordon Brown, were conveniently able to meet over the issue.
And who was not? Ahmadî-Nezhâd, who is staying at the Days Inn in New York (he evidently loves the Manhattan street dogs floating in frothy brine; they just don’t get it right in Tehran). Ahmadî-Nezhâd refutes the shock and surprise, insisting that the ultra-secret military-run uranium processing installation hidden from the world was perfectly legal. Why, he has a building permit, too, but evidently the GC forgot to tape it to the front window, the lazy bastard. Why does this matter? Because Ahmadî-Nezhâd is in New York, where he is unable to access either his spin doctors or the Iranian state-controlled media. The Iranian people have been given a well-timed choice: they either hear the truth come over international wires, or they hear nothing from him except humiliating, impotent silence. He’s cut off, but the truth isn’t. Either is a political win for the good guys. Check!
“U.S. officials said the three Western leaders went public because Iran learned that the U.S. had long been aware of the undeclared site.” Is that so? Then why the surprise over receipt of that letter from the IAEA that shocked the world with news of a top secret Qom-based refinery that we evidently knew all about?
Because, friends, there was no surprise. The letter was merely that surprise move where the queen slides and takes out Iran’s queen for another check. The US has known about the base, got the IAEA to write the letter, and then sat on it until the moment was right. Now you have Ahmadî-Nezhâd in New York, trapped. You then reveal the letter when he is unprepared, cut off, and isolated from his handlers. What can he do? Say the letter is a forgery two days after he acknowledged the validity of the UN in his speech? That makes him look like a hypocrite to the rest of the world. Does he admit the letter is genuine? If so, he confesses that the Iranians were pushing for nuclear weapons instead of nuclear power. If he denies the secrecy of it, he now is forced to admit they have the base which becomes a lever at the October 1st meeting.
These are not coincidences. Even if all of this is just dumb luck, Iran must realize that they are being checked repeatedly, and that mate may not be far away.
Friday, September 25, 2009
At the beginning of the discussion, John J. Miller describes HPL as a "socialist," which is probably right at the time of his death, which comforts his left-wing admirers who often see it as a repudiation of his "conservatism," but he took an ugly road there and his so-called “conservatism” was not a desire to conserve the achievements of the Founders, but a circumlocution for something much worse. HPL slid from what looked like national socialism to international socialism in a characteristically easy fashion. ("Last year, it was all Lenin in here!")
Years ago, your Volgi ran across a letter in Lovecraft’sSelected Letters in which he was making the classic 1930s case that democracy had failed and had had its day, so we needed to replace it with a strong leader, and Science, etc. etc., and got a distinctly fascist vibe from it.
Temperamentally, HPL was sort of the classic petty intellectual and eccentric crank who threw in with technocracy and nostalgic romanticism (born in our age, he'd have been a Perot and Buchanan guy, I suspect). Lovecraft is a perfect example of a "smart guy" who—like lots of "smart guys" in the 1930s—fell for the modern, effective, scientific aura of fascism.
Pace Derb and JJM, HPL was no “traditionalist,” except in a very qualified sense. He wasn't so much the kind of guy in for perpetuation of tradition but of restoring lost glories, for fleeing modernity into an imagined, romanticized past. This is classic fascist material. He was sort of a “conservative,” but in the reactionary, European, blood-and-soil, throne-and-altar sense, except translated into an Anglophilic Protestant New Englander idiom. (He was not a fan of the Founding, the Constitution, etc.) In politics, as in the philosophy underlying his works, Lovecraft is not a profound or systematic thinker, he is an almost-brilliant, well-read crank with a painful perception of the nihilism and meaninglessness—the “cosmic horror”—that his atheistic materialism dictates.
Even though he had (and loved) a Ukranian-born Jewish wife, Sonia Greene, he definitely had his period's retrograde attitudes towards non-WASPs and non-whites—to an unusual degree. His crazy went to eleven. Sonia (who often had to remind him that she was Jewish when he'd start in on the Jews) said he would always get enraged at the racially diverse crowds in New York (as opposed to his native Providence). "The Horror At Red Hook" is, well, immigrants. "The Shadow Over Innsmouth?" Miscegenation. And "Arthur Jermyn" had a allegedly Portuguese grandmother who was actually a gorilla. Much more akin to the profile of national socialism or fascismo, I've always thought. He was not a Nazi, obviously, and he loved his Jewish wife (and she him), although he seems to have been a pretty committed anti-Semite (and bigot) in theory.
These Wikipedia bits are pretty spot-on.
Lovecraft lived at a time when the eugenics movement, anti-Catholicism, nativism, and strict racial segregation and miscegenation laws were all widespread in the United States and theProtestant countries of Europe, and his writings reflect that social and intellectual environment.Textbook Progressivism, anyone? (Or Liberal Fascism, if you will.)
Ethnicity was more salient than race for Lovecraft; he admired Anglo-Saxons in particular, not white people generally. Non-Anglo-Saxon whites of European descent are frequently disparaged in his work on ethnic grounds. The degenerate descendants of Dutch immigrants in the Catskill Mountains, "who correspond exactly to the decadent element of white trash in the South", are common targets. In "The Temple," Lovecraft's highly unsympathetic narrator is a German World War I U-boat captain whose faith in his "iron German will" and the superiority of the Fatherland lead him to machine-gun helpless survivors in lifeboats and, later, kill his own crew, while blinding him to the curse he has brought upon himself.Well, who doesn't hate the Dutch?
And this ugly piece, with strong Nazi and white-supremacist sympathies attempts to enlist Lovecraft as a race warrior, and scummy though it is, its thesis is argued, not too selectively from a lot of HPL's own words:
The celebrated British philosopher, Colin Wilson wrote of Lovecraft in The Order of Assassins (Rupert Hart-Davis, London, 1972): "The underlying spirit of Lovecraft (is) the revolt against civilisation, the feeling that the material success by which the modern world justifies itself is the shallowest of all standards; like Nietzsche, he felt that democracy is the rise of botchers and bunglers and mediocrities against the superior type of man."The discussion so far has avoided S.T. Joshi’s analysis of HPL’s Hitler fandom (pp. 360-362)—shared, remember, by lots of intellectuals before the war and the Holocaust stripped the mask from the monster.
It might be added that Lovecraft's conception of the "superior type of man" was not based upon class or wealth (he despised commercialism in its every form and in later years came to despise Capitalism and its materialistic values with as much ferocity as he despised Marxism and its materialistic values). Lovecraft's view was basically that of the racial nationalist.
Although a life-long Anglophile he opposed the First World War, basically because it was a brother's war. As he explained:"That the maintenance of civilisation today rests with that magnificent Teutonic stock which is represented alike by the two hotly contending rivals, England and Germany... is as undeniably true as it is vigorously disputed. The Teuton is the summit of evolution. That we may consider intelligently his place in history we must cast aside the popular nomenclature which would confuse the names "Teuton" and "German", and view him not nationally but racially. Tracing the career of the Teuton through medieval and modern history, we can find no possible excuse for denying his actual biological supremacy. In widely separated localities and under widely diverse conditions, his innate racial qualities have raised him to preeminence. There is no branch of modern civilisation that is not his making."From this it is clear that Lovecraft had a realistic appreciation of the overriding importance of race. Although he seems to have always felt this instinctively, his views were hardened by several years spent in New York in the 1920's where, for Lovecraft. the race problem assumed "its most hideous form as loathsome Asiatic hordes trail their dirty carcasses over streets where white men once moved, and air their odious presence and twisted visage and stunted forms till we shall be driven either to murder them or emigrate ourselves... It is not good for a proud, light-skinned Nordic to be cast away alone amongst squat, squint-eyed jabberers with coarse ways and alien emotions whom his deepest cell tissue hates and loathes as the mammal hates and loathes the reptile, with an instinct as old as history." The strength of Lovecraft's feelings were rarely far from the surface when he wrote of the race issue, as when he had this to say about New York: "The city is befouled and accursed – I come away from it with a sense of having been tainted by contact, and long for some solvent of oblivion to wash it out! How in Heaven's name sensitive and self respecting white men can continue to live in the stew of Asiatic filth which the region has become – with marks and reminders of the locust-plague on every hand – is absolutely beyond me."
Lovecraft's anti-semitism, it should be noted, was not based upon a well-researched knowledge of the part played by certain wealthy Jewish financiers, but on plain physical repugnance. The limitation, therefore, of his appreciation of what motivates Zionism, which he never mentions, is considerable. In his view "the mass of contemporary Jews" were "hopeless so far as America" was concerned because they were the "product of alien blood, and inherit alien ideals, impulses, and emotions which forever preclude the possibility of wholesale assimilation... The fact is, that an Asiatic stock broken and dragged through the dirt for untold centuries cannot possibly meet a Nordic race on an emotional parity." So far as he was concerned "on our side there is a shuddering physical repugnance to most Semitic types, and when we try to be tolerant we are merely blind or hypocritical. Two elements so discordant can never build one society – no feeling of real linkage can exist where so vast a disparity of ancestral memories is concerned – so that wherever the Wandering Jew wanders, he will have to content himself with his own society till he disappears or is killed off in some sudden outburst of physical loathing on our part."
Joshi’s sympathies are on the left, if the Volgi remembers right, and in the first paragraph he's trying to extricate HPL's later more explicitly New Deal-Henry Wallace Progressivism from his hideous racism and attraction to Hitler.
Etc. H.P. Lovecraft was a creepy exemplar of what Jonah Goldberg called "the fascist moment," and his racialism and curdled nostalgia certainly pushes him towards sympathy with the Nazi fantasy-history ideology. I'm less inclined than Joshi to let him off, but if he did, in fact, back off from Hitlerism in the wake of the Nuremburg Laws, Kristallnacht, etc., then good for him, but he just moved over into "nice fascism" or socialism, so he didn't end up anywhere desirable.
Lovecraft was a massive weirdo and crank, with repugnant racial views and an enthusiam for nasty, authoritarian politics. He was not all bad, of course, and in his letters one notes a profound kindness to young fans who wrote to him (like later Voice of America stalwart Willis Conover, whose Lovecraft At Last is just marvelous). Your Volgi likes a lot of his stuff, and he got to be a very good plotter and a decent stylist (though his early stuff is like bad Lovecraft parody). Even some of the stuff that comes from his evil, crazy racism is really very effective as a horror story. The miscegenated "degenerate stock" of Innsmouth have been breeding for decades with…undersea fish-men. That's just good horror-movie material and a skin-crawling inversion of the mermaid myth.
Incidentally, the sole actual adaptation of his work for the big screen is of "The Shadow Over Innsmouth." It's called Dagon and is worth checking out.
You let the evil piece of garbage die in prison, despite her pleas for a charitable early release.
Not so hard, now, is it?
Kudos to Reuters for not obscuring the fact that the alleged bomber Michael Finton also known as Talib Islam was a recent convert to Islam who looked to John Walker Lindh for inspiration for his attempted attack.
Of course, Mr. Fenton only converted to Islam after a stint in prison – although the article did not state what he did to be sent to prison. Your Mandarin finds it interesting that those that “find” Jesus while in prison don’t come out looking to blow up a car full of explosives outside of a federal building.
After his conversion and release from prison, Fenton/Islam went on a little pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. It was during this trip that he was smitten with the idea of fighting for Palestinian freedom in the Gaza Strip against those evil Israelis. What an original idea. I’m sure he must have come up with this one on his own since we all know how much Muslim Saudi Arabia loves all people regardless of their religious beliefs, especially the Jews.
I’m sleeping so much better at night knowing that the President is going to close down that unjust concentration camp know as Guantanamo Bay and move all of its misunderstood and peace loving inmates to federal prison facilities here in the continental United States. As part of their rehabilitation maybe they can help the prison Imams with their “peaceful” teachings of Islam and the Koran.
I liked it better when all the prisoners would pick up in the “joint” was how to make radiator gin, carve a bar of soap to look like a gun, and make license plates.